by Helen Earnshaw |
Tim Vincent made his name in the UK as a presenter on Blue Peter but the thirty nine year old has made the successful move to America.
Over the last few years he has been working for Access Hollywood and rubbing shoulders with some of entertainment's biggest stars.
I caught up with him to talk about the movie, settling into work on the other side of the pond and some of the stars he has chatted to.
- You have been working for various shows on NBC over the last few years so how have you found settling in LA?
I have worked for NBC's Access Hollywood for 8 years. Because it’s a nightly entertainment show there is a lot of filming to shoot every week to fill the air space, and as a presenter that's a great opportunity as you can get your teeth into the role.
From 2005 I lived exclusively in New York City for 3 years co hosting the show from the East Coast. It was a huge transition to uproot my life and restart across the Atlantic, finding an apartment, shopping for groceries, missing family and friends, driving on the wrong side of the road - they were all new challenges that I had taken for granted in London.
So living and filming for 3 month periods in LA is much easier, you still get a little homesick, but it’s exciting as you know you can enjoy every moment. I also know I will be back in the UK at a certain point and be reunited with my 4 year old Tea Cup Yorkie called Brackie!
- Why did you decide to make the move out to the States?
The move to the States was offered to me after I had hosted a British version of Access Hollywood. I would get the occasional phone call asking would I interview an A-List star while they were in London and it grew from there.
I think it typifies the American attitude of 'if you work hard the world CAN be your oyster', and how unbiased they are to newcomers.
How many American presenters do you know on UK Television doing the equivalent of what I am doing?
- How does working in American TV compare to working in the UK?
American TV is very similar in some respects to the UK. The same process applies on how to film something, but as a presenter on a nightly Hollywood type show there are big differences.
Firstly we don't have that many celebs that are 'Movie Stars' in Britain, LA is packed with them, so the opportunity to do a set visit with Michael Douglas, or a one on one interview with George Clooney is much more the norm here.
There are also more commercial breaks in the US, so the actual segments in the show are more packed with information, or comedy, or shock moments, all designed to make you stay tuned for after the adverts.
That reflects on the presenting....you tend to be quicker and more heightened in your performance, and consequently more tired at the end of the filming day!
- You have been doing plenty of interviews on Access Hollywood so how have you found the transition into a celebrity interviewer role?
The 'Celebrity Interviewer Role' is an interesting one, you have to be well researched, know what the film that the Celeb is usually sitting down to publicise is all about, but also be ready to go off script.
People think it must be intimidating sitting opposite Leonardo DiCaprio or Madonna, but as a rule they are there to promote a product, be it a film they are starring in, or a song they've released, so they want to come across as nice and as a rule they are.
The trick is to lift the interview above the banal. Yes we know you love this film blah blah blah what we really want to know is; who took longer in make up in the morning, are you really dating someone 20 years older......of course all of this asked in a polite British accent does help a lot.
- You have chatted to a whole host of Hollywood stars so who have you enjoyed talking to? And who have you found a little difficult?
Most stars are charming, the great ones are no surprise; George Clooney is an absolute gentleman, charming to the crew, apologetic if he's late and all delivered with a genuine twinkle in his eyes.
The Rap/R and B stars can sometimes be late and bored before you have started the interview. My favourite interview that started bad was a one on one big sit down with Ringo Starr in New York.
Immediately before the interview I presented him with a Birthday cake as it was his birthday 2 days later, having blown out the candles I asked him had he made a wish?
The already rattled musician came out with the immortal lines 'yeah, and your still here!'
I have had the opportunity to interview Robert DeNiro a lot over the last 8 years and have a huge soft spot for him. He used to insist that I always interviewed him first during press junkets so as to warm him up, because he does not relish having to be interviewed on camera.
I have really liked the chance to spend some limited time with a true genius of the acting world. He even had a nickname for me - 'Tolerable Tim'.
- You are also set to cover the Oscars later this month so how excited are you to be on the red carpet on the biggest night on the movie calendar?
The Oscars are the biggie of the Red carpet events, I have co hosted from there once before in 2005 and it’s fun!
Apart from having to wear a Black tuxedo in blazing hot LA sunshine, you have a limited time of 1 to 1 and a half hours to interview every A-Lister as they walk down the carpet.
We literally have ear pieces connected to a producer who will say, 'wrap up with Clint Eastwood, Antonio Banderas has arrived'.
- Any tips on who you think is going to win?
The tips on who will win? George Clooney's name I hope will be mentioned on the evening, as will hopefully The Artist and The Help.
- There are also rumours flying around that you could be in line to take over the U.S. X Factor so are there any truth in those rumours?
Rumours are just rumours regarding me and X Factor, it’s not the biggest jump to place me in the speculation as I already host live shows over in the states like Miss USA and Phenomenon, BUT I have not spoken to Simon in any shape or form.
- And you are also set to head back to the UK to cover the Olympics for NBC so are you a big sports fan?
Ironically I’m not a huge sports fan, but very much looking forward to covering the Olympics for NBC and excited that London will be given a chance to shine again on the world stage, especially after we did such a great job with the Royal Wedding.
- And is American where you see yourself staying?
America is a place I love that seems to 'get me' and appreciates my particular talent, so I hope to be working as much as I possibly can here in the States.
However there is a reason I have kept my house in the UK, because that's home and where I also would like to work and live.
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw